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Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Fifty Years In The Feri Tradition

Fifty Years In The Feri Tradition Cover

Book: Fifty Years In The Feri Tradition by Cora Anderson

Okay, the up-front confession: when I first read this book, ten years ago, I was positively underwhelmed. I'd heard so much about the book, about the mysterious Feri tradition and about its founders, Victor and Cora Anderson, and my expectations were pretty high. I was expecting to get a reasonably in-depth overview of the Feri tradition, or at least a guided tour of some basics. I was expecting, basically, Feri 101. What I got instead, when I finally acquired a copy, was a modestly slim volume written in a chatty, conversational tone, less as a book and more a transcript of a rambling verbal discourse on whatever subjects related to Feri happened to cross the writer's mind. It felt confusing, unfocused and largely incomprehensible, especially because I felt like I wasn't understanding many of her base assumptions about religion, magic, or the Craft. I came away from my initial read strangely dissatisfied, as though I'd missed a point I should've gotten, and didn't understand why.

With `Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition', author and Grandmaster Cora Anderson reflects on various aspects of this often misunderstood branch of modern Witchcraft, touching on such topics as the Three Souls, the divine Twins, the role of sex in the Craft, the Black Heart of Innocence, and more.

Written as an anniversary gift for her husband (Feri founder and Grandmaster Victor Anderson) this work weaves together pieces of their personal history, as well as etheric insights into the religious technologies of various cultures. This combined with an intuitive presentation of the various realms of metaphysical existence makes this book a real gem for the Feri/Witchcraft enthusiast.

I've read this little book several times since then, and each time I've come away from it with a little something more. In the space of time between my first reading and my most recent read a couple of days ago, I've found many little gems of wisdom, humor, and magic hiding in the text, and each time I wonder: why I hadn't seen that particular bit before? After all, it's not as though there's much room in the book for things to hide! I always wonder if the text changes when I'm not looking at it...

But of course, the book itself isn't changing. As Lon Milo DuQuette says in his book Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot, it's that I've changed, and my capacity to understand it has likewise changed. Cora Anderson's little essay about the Feri tradition, rambling and unfocused as it is, packs a terrific amount of information into a tiny package, and phrases it in such a way that most of it only makes sense once you, the reader, are ready to understand it. That may sound odd, but it's true.

As such, while I wouldn't say this is a "beginner's book" by any stretch of the imagination, I think it's essential reading for anyone seriously studying the Feri tradition, or anyone who wants to read the unvarnished thoughts of a genuine elder of the Craft.

The writing style is veiled and conversational, so much so that at times it feels as if you are hearing her speak to you in a dream and engaging her words more symbolically than literal. (I recommend repeated readings of this work in order to better understand some of the deeper points that are introduced... at only 63 pages it is certainly an easy task.) Some of the information is specifically directed at parts of the Feri tradition community, while others can be more generally applied to the wider pagan movement.

If you are looking for a practical Feri manual then you may prefer `Evolutionary Witchcraft' by T. Thorn Coyle, but if you are looking for even more information about this often secretive tradition then `Fifty Years...' offers some interesting morsels, straight from the horse's mouth.

Buy Cora Anderson's book: Fifty Years In The Feri Tradition

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Summer Woodsong - False Memory Syndrome And The Inquisition
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Jeffrey Spier - Medieval Byzantine Magical Amulets And Their Tradition
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Marcus Cordey - Magical Theory And Tradition